A Seattle Parks Department employee tells KOMO he's selling his family's home and moving them out of the city because of the homeless mess in their Lake City neighborhood.
KVI's Kirby Wilbur interviewed the life-long Seattle resident, Bill Harmon, about the frustration that prompted his decision to flee Seattle.
"There's multiple things that are leading us to move but this state of the city," Harmon says, "its nothing I wanna bring a kid up in. Ya know what I mean?" After Wilbur added his agreement, Harmon continued, "The crime is ridiculous. We're being over run basically by almost lawlessness, if you will. And instead of the city breaking things down and handling things kinda, ya know, piece by piece, they just kinda seem to be throwing their hands up (and saying) ' Its too much, we can't deal with it.' "
He grew up in nearby Ballard and graduated from Ingraham High School on Seattle's north side, so he's seen clearly how the city has been altered by the metastasizing chronic homeless and crime problems. After working for the city of Seattle for 20 years, he's anxious to move.
"There's just a common thread of frustration with just kinda everything. The police are frustrated, everybody's frustrated...everybody feels like their hands are tied. Nobody feels like they can do anything because somebody above them is holding them back or not allowing them to do their job. "
He says there's no accountability between what the city elected officials say and what he hears from the police officers on the street. "To me there's no transparency. Its a bunch of the political same ol' same ol' and, you know, its just ridiculous." says Harmon adding an exasperated sigh.
Asked if he could advise Mayor Jenny Durkan and the City Council members on how to deter homeless drug problems, Harmon responds, "Number one, stand behind the laws that you have in place right now. Period. To me, that's first and foremost."
"First you gotta enforce, ya know, people camping where ever they wanna camp on the streets. And if we got a problem with our local law and police don't have enough police, we need to hire more police. If we need to hire, ya know, more people down at the courts to process these people, hire more people down there. If we need, ya know, more outreach if there's not enough beds for people to go, then address that. "
Harmon’s realtor says that having the encampment nearby reduces the selling price of his town home by $30,000-$50,000. That financial loss on the sale of his family home could be the difference between having money for a child's college fund.
Seattle's navigation team cleared out the homeless camp across the street from Harmon's house yesterday along NE 31st Avenue, north of 120th Street. KOMO News previously reported on the neighbor concerns and crime problems connected to this unsanctioned homeless camp on April 17, 2019.